Annual Birthday Baking
4:00 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Happy Birthday, Emily Dickinson!

This week, we celebrate Emily Dickinson’s 183rd birthday.  What better way to celebrate the poet than by baking her famous Black Cake?   A group of Charlottesville poets-turned-bakers let us join them for their “Fourth Annual Emily Dickinson Birthday Party.”

Emily Dickinson was not only a prolific poet, but she was also a very industrious baker.  A few years ago, cultural historian Addeane Kelley came across a newspaper article that had a recipe for Emily’s “Black Cake”.

Digitally restored daguerreotype of Emily Dickinson, 1847
Digitally restored daguerreotype of Emily Dickinson, 1847
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Now. every year for Emily’s birthday, Addeane and a few friends gather at the home of Diane Ober and John Alexander to make copious amounts of this brandy-soaked fruit cake.